Economic Development, Small Business & Startups, and Technology

Underwater drone wins 5x5 Night

November 4, 2015
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Fathom underwater drone
Users would control the Fathom underwater drone via a smartphone app. Photo via

The sky is no longer the only place on earth traversable by consumer drones.

Underwater drone

Fathom is an in-development jet-propelled underwater drone that's now surfing the financial seed-fund wave.

Fathom was named the winner of last month's emerge 5x5 Night in Grand Rapids at Start Garden, taking home the $5,000 prize.

Fathom would be a portable underwater drone that a user can control with a smartphone app from "a dry location," according to its Facebook page.

The drone would use one propulsive motor and contain an on-board camera.

“For too long, underwater exploration has been limited to those with extensive funding and years of training," Fathom’s website says. "We want to change this. With the Fathom drone, anyone can explore their closest body of water with ease.”

Fathom was co-founded by Hope College student Danny Vessells.

It was partly inspired by reaction control systems found on board spacecraft.

5x5 Night

5x5 Night is produced by emerge West Michigan and offers a chance for entrepreneurs in the early stages of their projects to receive $5,000 in seed funding.

The event is free and open to the public and usually hosted on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

The next 5x5 Night will be on Nov. 24 at 5 p.m. at Start Garden in Grand Rapids, at 40 Pearl St. NW.  

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